Kano firm takes power supply from industrial solar rooftop plant

*Power from system becomes free after 4 years

A Kano-based plastic mat manufacturing firm, Rumbu Industries, will now partly rely on a new rooftop solar technology to operate its machines and drive efficiency, as well as limit its dependency on diesel generators and local electricity distribution company (Disco) to operate, OGN has learnt.

OGN gathered in Abuja that about 73 kilowatt peak (kWp) of the electricity needed by Rumbu, would be provided from the reliable and cost efficient solar hybrid plant built on the roofs of its Hadeja road premises by Enerwhere Nigeria.

Describing this as the first of its kind, Enerwhere, stated in a statement exchanged with journalists that the project was groundbreaking, and a good addition to the commercial and industrial solar market of northern Nigeria.

Signed by Emeline Platel, Country Director – Nigeria of Enerwhere, the statement explained that the new system could lead the way for a more sustainable, cost-effective solution to the electricity challenges of industries in Nigeria.

Platel, stated that up to N6 million of Rumbu’s annual energy spend on diesel generators would be saved from the rooftop solar system, and the project was supported by aid from the UK government through its Solar Nigeria Programme.

“Rumbu Industries Ltd is one of the world’s largest plastic mat producers, exporting to West Africa and beyond. Based in Kano, northern Nigeria, they have over 1,000 employees and operate up to 24/7 with average daily power needs of over 500kW,” said Patel.

She further stated: “The poor grid supply in the Kano region regularly forces Rumbu Industries Ltd to use diesel generators, with just 60% of their annual energy usage coming from the grid. Power reliability is particularly key for this industry, as their machinery quickly gets clogged during black outs. The resulting high fuel and operating costs, together with regular breakdowns of the generators and UPS systems, have been a major headache for the Rumbu Industries operations team.”

“Enerwhere’s solar rooftop plant cuts the company’s dependency on diesel generators by reducing its fuel consumption, generator running hours, KEDCO bills, and consequently overall power cost,” she added.

Also quoted in the statement was Ibrahim Buhari, the chairman of Rumbu Industries, who explained that: “Enerwhere were the most economical energy solution available to us and the system will pay for itself in under 4 years, after which the energy is free.”

He said the firm would increase the capacity by 300kWp on its rooftop, adding: “We are now convinced of both the reliability of the technology and Enerwhere’s capabilities, and we are looking forward to expanding the plant to maximize our savings on the long term.“

The 73 kWp solar rooftop plant, the note said would be expected to produce over 100 megawatt hour (MWh) of electricity per year.

Similarly, Mr. Sani Saleh, Executive Director at Rumbu Industries said about the system, “Enerwhere held their promises and delivered the project end-to-end with professionalism. With their remote monitoring system, they keep track of our production and ensure maximum performance.”